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County to decide on old hospital building

By The Mercury

The Pottawatomie County Commission is expected to decide soon whether or not to purchase the former DeChairo Hospital building at Westmoreland.

Jim Moore, president of Farmers State Bank, Westmoreland, told commissioners Monday that if the county is not interested, the bank plans to put the building on the market in the next a few weeks.

Farmers State Bank purchased and made improvements to the building after Dr. Tim Minges discontinued his medical practice there several years ago.

The bank is asking $160,000 for the 9,000-square-foot building, located just north of the Pott County Justice Center and east of the County Office Building.

Commissioners had considered purchase of the building several months ago as a means of expanding county office space and, perhaps, relocating the Pott County Health Department, now located on Westmoreland’s Main St.

With a decision also pending on what to do with the old courthouse, however, County Counselor John Watt suggested a needs assessment of office space would be a logical first step.

“I would think it would be valuable to have that kind of information first,” Watt said. “Nothing has been finalized on who needs what.”

Commissioners indicated they would make a decision on the former hospital building within the next few weeks.

In other business Monday:

• Watt reported on the county tax foreclosure sale held Friday, June 20, in the old courthouse at Westmoreland.

“All of the tracts sold but I would not call the attendance good,” Watt said. “The people that were there were interested in bidding, but there were not a lot of folks there.”

Some of the tracts sold for more than the taxes owed and some for less, Watt said, adding that he didn’t yet have the total revenue generated by the sale.

• The county received a “clean report” from Michelle Morton of Reese & Novelly, who presented the annual audit for the year ending December 31, 2013.

• The commission discussed drainage issues and possible roof repairs for the Wamego Senior Center.

The commission plans to discuss the issue at the next joint meeting with the Wamego City Commission.

• The commission authorized Watt to file a petition to condemn land needed to construct a new bridge on Flint Rock Rd.

The county has been in negotiations with landowners for purchase of right-of-way for a number of months.

Watt suggested filing the petitions to “avoid further delays.”

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